University: Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Field of study: Business Psychology
Study type: semester abroad
In order to inspire you for a semester abroad (one of the best times of my life!!), I would like to tell you about my 4 months in Barcelona. Check liuxers.com to see AUT study abroad opportunities.
First about the application process:
My school highly recommended the MicroEdu website to me. I was absolutely delighted! My contact person was incredibly nice, patient and answered every question as quickly as possible. I went through the application process with her, she helped me where she could. And all this for free. But at this point: Thank you very much for your great service!
So, together with MicroEdu, I applied for the pre-established program at the UAB in Barcelona and was accepted for the coming winter semester. I recommend applying early, as places are limited and of course you have more chances of getting the courses you want.
So on September 2nd, 2019 I left for Spain with the airline Vueling. The flight cost me a total of 85 euros (25 kilos of luggage, hand luggage, backpack).
I had already booked my shared apartment in advance via Spot-A-Home (many of them first looked for one on site, which usually worked out quite well, but was also very stressful at times). It was clear to me from the start that I would be moving into a flat share, so the Uniplaces and Spot-A-Home websites were just right for me. Unfortunately, you have to pay a small fee for both agencies (for someone from the local agency to look at the apartments), which was definitely worth it to me, as I heard all sorts of horror stories about the conditions in the apartments in Spain would have. So I had booked a room in a six-person shared flat in the heart of Barcelona – in the Gothic Quarter (El Gotico). In my opinion, the most beautiful neighborhoods were the Gothic Quarter, El Born, Eixample and Gracia.
Unfortunately, it has to be said at this point that the cost of a small room in Barcelona is not exactly cheap. I paid 550 euros warm for my 10 square meters (with a huge window where you could step out onto a small “balcony”).
The location was a dream! I lived just down the street from the promenade to the sea and in the old town of Barcelona. Surrounded by cafés, small boutiques and narrow streets, I immediately felt at home!
The only downside: Tourist Spot Numero Uno! During the day I actually found it pleasant to live in the middle of all the hustle and bustle and thus get to know a lot about the people and the city. However, it was really annoying to sleep with the volume.
My community consisted of people from different nations. Italy, Russia, Mexico, Belgium, Austria and me – Germany. For me it was perfect because I had to speak English pretty much all the time and that kept me in practice. We had a small patio where we often ate dinner or played together.
The introductory event and some courses took place on the campus in Sant Pau – a really beautiful place, but a bit remote.
I had all my courses in the Eixample, so close to the city center (perfect location and easy to get to). Since I didn’t get an Erasmus place and therefore didn’t study with the native Spaniards at the Bella Terra campus outside of Barcelona, my fellow students consisted entirely of international students. In my opinion, the largest part was American or German. But there were really many nations.
I have taken the following modules:
- Ecommerce & Online Business
- Managerial Skills for International Business
- Human Resource Management
Ecommerce & Online Business
My absolute favorite course!
Otilia Driga was the name of the lecturer and she seemed rather unmotivated to me in the first hour. I really briefly considered changing this course. Fortunately not implemented! Already in the second hour it turned out that Otilia is really great! She was totally competent and really had a lot of knowledge about her subject. I was really interested in the topic of online marketing and I learned so many new things ! She always tried to get everyone involved and asked lots of questions to keep the course engaging. Over the 4 months we had to think about our own online product in groups and think about the perfect marketing for it, as well as create a website and/or app. The project was awesome!
Deliverables: An individual presentation on news in e-commerce and the large group project. As in the other courses, oral participation also counted here.
Managerial skills for international business
This course was a lot of fun too! But what was particularly down to the people and the lecturer Maydo, she was really an incredibly nice person and really built the connection to us students. Unfortunately, I didn’t take much new knowledge with me from this module because we did a lot of outdoor activities (team games) and watched films. Nevertheless, this way of teaching was definitely a new experience. And this is where we had the most fun because the group was just super funand I got to be with all my friends.
Human Resource Management
This course (also at Maydo) was about developing a marketing plan for ourselves as individuals. In this module you were psychologically confronted with your dreams, wishes and expectations for the future and had to think about where you would like to be later in life in order to be able to look back with satisfaction.
What I particularly liked was the way of learning and how it was taught. Since I come from a university, I am used to being taught the material in a more practical way. At the UAB in Barcelona, on the other hand, one can speak of real practical relevance. The system is similar to that in school. Active participation and a lot of interaction in the course is desired (will also be graded). Projects are developed and case studies have to be read as homework and questions answered. This way of learning has brought me so much more! My English skills have also improved a lot! (All courses are in English.)
The courses only take place from Monday to Friday and you can sometimes choose the times yourself when choosing the course.
To anyone who is in any way afraid of not making friends abroad – I can definitely take that fear away! You get to know so many incredible people!
I had planned in advance to connect more with the international minds – as expected, I was drawn to the Germans. We were a group of 20 men and really met every day in the most diverse constellations and spent the day. Whether on the beach, to celebrate, in one of the many great cafés, in town or on the Bunkers del Carmel – there was always something to do here! In the evenings we usually go to a bar and every Thursday to the classic Belushis, where you really met everyone. Every day was a weekend here!
Especially in September and October it was still so warm (20-26 degrees) that you really felt drawn to the beach almost every day (unfortunately the city beach is a total anchovy beach). That’s why we often went to the beach near Badalona or others. What I particularly recommend (unfortunately only for everyone who also likes electronic music) is going to brunch in the park at least once! I’ve been to the Brunch in the Park Festival twice and those were really my two highlights. You should also have seen the location La Terrazza and at least take part in a party there! Perfect for partying! (outdoor with palm trees)
Also, don’t miss:
- To the Bunkers del Carmel at sunset and after dark
- Stroll through El Born! (My absolute favorite neighborhood!)
- To the Alzur Cafe in El Born
- Brunch at Brunch & Cake/ Billy Brunch/ Almalibre Acai
- On the Tibidabo
- And definitely excursions in the area! (A lot is offered to you via the Erasmus bcn app – I can only recommend downloading it!) For example, I was in Valencia for a weekend with friends, we did a road trip to the Côte d’Azur, we were in Girona, Sitges,…
There really is so much to do in Barcelona! The city is so diverse and exudes an incredibly great lifestyle! I am so incredibly happy that I was able to experience this incredibly great time and get to know such a cool group. One of the best times of my life!
For those who like going to the gym like me: there are many McFit Studios! You can also get a contract in other fitness studios for just one, three or six months, for example!
A quick note on crime:
Unfortunately, this is really more extreme than expected. Many of my friends had their bags and cell phones stolen and unfortunately some boys were also mugged at night. You really have to be careful and don’t go home too late alone in the evenings (November and December in particular)! Of course, the location also plays an important role here. My tip: the nicest and safest neighborhoods are Eixample, Gracia and the center. I would avoid El Raval, Barceloneta (on the beach) and in one of the small narrow streets in the old town.
I hope I was able to give you a little insight and convince you of this great city! If you have any further questions, please write to me!